U.S. Admitted Blunder in Kidnapping al-Masri
The Chancellor of Germany has told the world what the the Bush Administration has tried to keep secret: The U.S. admitted making a mistake in kidnapping Khaled al-Masri (also spelled el-Masri) and detaining him for five months. The U.S. made the admission to Germany's then interior minister, Otto Schily.
The Germans became aware of his case in May 2004, when the White House dispatched the U.S. ambassador in Germany to pay an unusual visit to the interior minister, Otto Schily. Ambassador Daniel Coats told Schily the CIA had wrongfully imprisoned one of its citizens, al-Masri, for five months and would soon release him, according to several people with knowledge of the conversation.
There was also a request: that the German government not disclose what it had been told even if al-Masri went public. The U.S. officials feared legal challenges and exposure of a covert action program designed to capture terrorism suspects abroad and transfer them among countries.
TalkLeft noted here that it was Condi Rice who ordered the release of al-Masri. As the New York Times said at the time,
|< Al-Sami Prosecution a Failure of the Patriot Act | The Economics of Being Bob Woodward >|